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Hand gel use may bump up with attention on swine flu

Hi folks, it’s Scott Wallask again. When you start thinking of potential swine flu outbreaks, it seems natural to consider your inventories of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and medical supplies. However, one substance I didn’t really think too much about in this regard until I read it in an Associated Press story this morning was alcohol-based hand gel.

Hand gel is probably becoming a hot commodity in hospitals during [more]

Clean linen and the departed

Here’s an interesting scenario that came across my inbox: Someone asked colleagues on an online chat group about the need to keep clean linen covered in a morgue.

There is no Joint Commission requirement in this regard. However, in the hands of a particularly prickly surveyor, [more]

With emergency inventory planning, don’t just focus on the numbers

Maintaining an accurate inventory of resources and assets for disaster planning is clearly an important process because you need to know what your capacities are during emergencies.

What this requires is a thoughtful process for managing the inventory during an emergency. It’s not so much about knowing [more]

Gloves don’t have to be one-size-fits-all

Hi everyone, it’s Scott Wallask checking in after a bit of an absence to welcome my new son in the world. During my stay at the maternity unit of the hospital, I saw a simple but effective way to further encourage hand glove use. [more]

National refrigerator temperature standard? Nope

There is no specific, nationally recognized or enforced requirement to monitor the temperature of refrigerators. There are some state and local restrictions, but that’s all.

The requirement is that each organization will appropriately manage the temperature of all applicable food/medication storage devices, period, end of story.

Clean up cardboard boxes frequently to limit fire risks

As to the life safety implications of cardboard boxes, they are indeed made of a combustible material and we should do everything we can to minimize their presence, especially for extended periods of time.

Waste removal processes for cardboard should be effective. While there is no specific time measure, it’s generally demonstrable when the waste removal process is not working properly.

Be ready to defend use of fire blankets in the OR

Fire blanket use in ORs is a topic that crosses my path occasionally. This is yet another one of those instances in which there is just enough information and opinion out there to get you in trouble during surveys if you are using fire blankets in the operating theater.

The ECRI Institute has strongly discouraged the use of fire blankets in the OR. If you check out “A clinician’s guide to surgical fires: how they occur, how to prevent them, how to put them out” at National Guideline Clearinghouse, which cites ECRI in its bibliography, it indicates the following: [more]

Lead aprons and hazardous waste disposal

I found myself in an e-mail conversation recently about the disposal of lead radiation aprons and whether there is a hazardous waste or EPA aspect to this activity.

My experience has been [more]

The Joint Commission posts even more new FAQs

Hi, it’s Scott Wallask checking in quickly. I was on The Joint Commission’s Web site earlier today and saw that three new and/or revised FAQs had been posted last week dealing with [more]

Early thoughts from NYC hospitals about the Hudson River plane crash

Hi everyone, it’s Scott Wallask logging in today. I just chatted with a couple of representatives of New York City hospitals about the plane that crashed into the Hudson River on Thursday afternoon and their facilities’ response to the incident.

Two important early points came up in our conversations: [more]